Downton, Wiltshire History

This was the site of early mills in Downton and one of the seven pre-Domesday mills may have been on, or near, here. The Bishop of Winchester owned two mills until c.1400 and from the 16th century there were two mills under one roof, an adjoining third mill and a mill house on the site.

From 1710 one of the mills was used as a paper mill and in the mid to late 19th century there was a flour, a grist and a paper mill here. The paper mill closed in 1914 and the corn mill also closed in the early 20th century.

In 1929 the mills were used as an electricity generating station for the tannery, which formed the Downton Electric Light Co. This was providing electricity to the village in 1931, was taken over by the Central Electricity Generating Board following nationalization in 1948, and continued working until 1973. The present buildings are 18th century.

Acknowledgement: The Wiltshire County Council